The Vietnamese Government is constantly aware of the importance of digital technology and prepares policies to encourage its development, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam told a World Bank workshop to launch its “World Development Report 2016: Digital Dividends” report on March 14.

Mr. Dam said that digital technology has made a major contribution to Vietnam’s socioeconomic development. “Besides its advantages, digital technology also has certain negative impacts depending on how people use it,” he went on. “It would be ridiculous if such negative impacts inhibit the development of digital technology.”

Vietnam has potential for the development of digital technology, Mr. Truong Gia Binh, Chairman of FPT Group, said. “Young Vietnamese spend three times as long on the internet than young people in other ASEAN countries and much local talent have been successful in technology, such as Zalo and FPT Play, which have tens of millions of users,” he added.

Most young people in Vietnam have a smartphone and the 3G costs are lower than the global average. Each young Vietnamese spends from VND50,000 ($2.2) to VND70,000 ($3.1) to be able to access unlimited internet, creating huge opportunities for them to access digital technology.

Mr. Truong Gia Binh, Chairman of FPT Group

According to the World Bank report, a large gap still exists in digital technology around the world. For example, 6 billion people do not use broadband, 4 billion people do not have internet at all, 2 billion people do not have a mobile phone, and 400 million are not within coverage areas.

Although it is a major lever for development sometimes the internet can make existing problems become worse and increase inequality, according to the report.

Ms. Victoria Kwakwa, Director of the World Bank in Vietnam, said that Vietnam’s public sector still does not the capacity to implement ambitious projects in digital technology.

“Vietnam will need to have a large agenda to promote reforms in the business environment, enhancing effective governance skills,” she added. “The government of Vietnam can study the World Bank report to benefit as many people as possible.”